Heathrow Airport management reported today that it handled 72.3m passengers in 2013, an increase of 3.4% on 2012.
Taking into account the dip in demand from last year’s Olympic Games, Heathrow management says that the underlying growth is currently being estimated at +2.3%. The total number of seats per aircraft increased by 2.8% on 2012 and the average load factor grew 1% to 76.4%.
European traffic grew by 4.4%, in what airport management described as a ‘bounce back’ from the Olympics, while additional benefits were derived from the integration of bmi into the British Airways’ network.
BRIC PASSENGERS HEALTHY
Interestingly, BRIC passengers were up 6.9% over the year, with China up 18.9%, and India up 8.7%.
Looking at December in isolation, Heathrow handled 5.8m – a 2.8% increase on the previous year.
Seats per aircraft increased by +2.6% and the average load factor grew by 1.3 percentage points on 2012 to 76.7%.
For the month, BRIC passengers were up by 6.1% overall, with China up 18.6%, India up 6.7% and Brazil up 4.4%.
Commenting, Heathrow CEO Colin Matthews said: “During 2013, Heathrow was named the best large airport in Europe, T5 was voted the ‘world’s best terminal’ for the second year running and we welcomed the Airports Commission’s shortlisting of Heathrow as an option for expansion.
“Our passenger figures reflect the growing demand for the long-haul destinations only a hub airport can support. Yet Heathrow is full, leaving European hubs to add destinations whilst we look on. We are not against expansion at Gatwick, but greater point-to-point capacity is no substitute for new hub capacity which only Heathrow can provide.”